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PA FLORIDA LAB SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL

Release Date: 11/20/98
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1998

FLORIDA LAB SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL

VOC Analytical Laboratories, a defunct company that formerly did business in Boca Raton, Fla., was sentenced on Nov. 10, to pay a $50,000 fine in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Ft. Lauderdale for its conviction on one count of illegally disposing of methylene chloride, a listed hazardous waste. The court also ordered VOC to properly dispose of hazardous wastes discovered during the investigation. In April 1997, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) discovered that VOC was avoiding hazardous waste disposal costs by improperly disposing of methylene chloride by sending it out as biological waste. FDEP instructed VOC to stop this practice, but a subsequent investigation discovered that VOC continued to violate the law. Human exposure to methylene chloride can cause liver disease and cancer. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Marine Patrol and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

R-157 ###